Sansha: Sound & Shine, Sand & Sea
Updated 23:05, 02-Oct-2019
By Zhu Longzhou

There is a saying in Chinese: "As far as horizons, as near as hands." Being China's southernmost city, Sansha is one of the country's most remote locations. But now the Chinese government is gradually opening Sansha to locals for travel and sightseeing. Catching a glimpse of the area's reefs, beaches and waves doesn't require one to go abroad.

"Though small, it's perfectly formed" – This is the best way to describe Sansha. The prefecture-level city has three unique features within China: it has the largest sea area, the smallest land area, and the smallest population. However, it is fully equipped with schools, hospitals, postal and telecom services, banks, a TV station and even environmental facilities. When Sansha was enrolled into a global list ranking cities with the most "charisma," tourism boomed and brought life to the local economy. It also pushed the local government to develop infrastructure and related services and industries.

Now the city has partially opened certain areas like the Yongle Islands for tourists, with one of the most important activities being the flag-raising ceremony.

Sansha, so far and yet so close.

Sansha is a name of "far and ancient." Tracing back to the Neolithic Period, the Chinese had mastered shipbuilding and began their initial ventures and fishing expeditions in the South China Sea. Now, after nearly 7,000 years, being the southernmost city in China, Sansha still remains significant to local inhabitants. As part of the ancient maritime silk road, relics and historic remains from the Tang Dynasty are found around Sansha city and its islets. Buried deep down under the sea and land, scattered in the profound history, Sansha remains to have a lot to unveil.

Sansha is also a name of "near and new." On July 24, 2012, Sansha city was officially founded on Yongxing Island, one of the Xisha Islands or Paracel Islands in Hainan Province, and started its administrative functions. The city administers three island groups, including the Xisha, Zhongsha, and Nansha islands, along with surrounding waters. With multiple airports, reaching Sansha's warm climate, charming islands and exquisite maritime scenery is just a flight away.